14 July 2004

Saab plans to muscle into the high-performance saloon market with an all-wheel-drive 300bhp version of the 9-3 that will gun for the Audi S4. The company has been testing its own four-wheel-drive system for the past two years, and insiders say the car should be ready by 2007.

Power is likely to come from a version of next year’s new V6 engine, tuned from the standard 250bhp to 300bhp. Saab is likely to share technology from partners within the GM empire, and the forthcoming Vectra VXR is the most obvious candidate.

Torquesteer has plagued high-power Saabs in recent years, as power levels stretched the limits of front-wheel-drive chassis. The worst moment came with the 9-3 Viggen (right) in 1999, which comprehensively failed to put down its 225bhp with any degree of composure. Saab has throttled back on high-power front-drivers in recent years; the most powerful 9-3 now on sale is the 210bhp 2.0 turbo Aero.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out